With the release of its latest KIDS COUNT® report titled Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success, the Casey Foundation calls attention to what almost everyone knows instinctively and most of us take for granted, that children grow best when supported by strong and supportive relationships with their caregivers. Wisconsin fares slightly better than the national average, with approximately 13% of our 6500 out-of-home placements being in non-family settings. And, the report highlights three recommendations, all of which have important implications for Wisconsin.
Recommendation 1: Expand the service array to ensure children remain in families.
Recommendation 2: Recruit, strengthen and retain more relative and foster families.
Recommendation 3: Support decision making that ensures least restrictive placements.
Recruiting and supporting family-style placements for those children/youth who are removed from their home is hard work, but the emotional and developmental benefits for the youth who are placed in family settings are clear – they are better prepared to thrive in the future. by Jim Moeser